2018 Budget Boosts Access to Health Care for Peterborough Families
Ontario Making Historic Investment in Mental Health
Ontario is making historic new health care investments in the services people rely on with a focus on mental health and addictions, home and community care, and other programs to help people support their loved ones.
Dr. Helena Jaczek, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, was joined by Jeff Leal, MPP for Peterborough, at the Canadian Mental Health Association in Peterborough today to highlight how Ontario's major new health care investments, including the biggest provincial investment in Canadian history in mental health and addictions services, will help people in Peterborough access better care.
Ontario is transforming the mental health and addictions system to deliver more accessible and better integrated care, with a historic new investment of $2.1 billion thatwill make it easier to access services through a local school, family doctor's office or community-based organization. In Peterborough, this will mean:
- Two new mental health workers at the Peterborough Family Health Team that will provide publically funded structured psychotherapy to around 200 people each year, a first step in providing the service to up to 350,000 more people with mild to moderate anxiety or depression across the province.
- Every secondary school in Peterborough will have access to an additional mental health worker, with about 400 new positions being added across Ontario.
- More young people in Peterborough will be able to access community-based services such as therapy and counselling.
- In 2017-2018, 52 more supportive housing units in the Peterborough Region, building on the over 13,000 units being created across Ontario.
- Access to withdrawal management and residential and community treatment services will be expanded in Peterborough, for young people and adults living with addictions.
The 2018 Budget includes other important health care investments for Peterborough, such as:
- Making prescriptions free for people 65 and over through an expansion of OHIP+. Starting August 1, 2019, about 33,000 seniors in Peterborough will no longer have to pay a deductible or co-payment for prescription medications. The province is already providing free prescriptions for everyone under 25, and with this expansion nearly one in two people in Ontario will have access to OHIP+.
- A new Ontario Drug and Dental program for individuals and their families who do not have coverage from an extended health plan will reimburse up to $400 per single person, $600 per couple and $700 for a family of four with two children for eligible prescription drug and dental expenses, starting Summer 2019.
- Reducing hospital wait times by addressing capacity issues and providing better care closer to home through the biggest investment in hospitals in almost a decade. With this funding boost, hospitals in the Peterborough area will be able to better invest in the care and supports needed by patients and the community.
- An estimated 336,000 more hours of personal support, 34,000 more nursing visits and 7,000 more therapy visits for people in the Peterborough region as part of a major new investment in home and community care across the province.
Ontario's plan to support care, create opportunity and make life more affordable during this period of rapid economic change includes a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, easier access to affordable child care, and free prescription drugs for everyone under 25, and 65 or over, through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation.
- Ontario’s health care budget will total $61.3 billion in 2018–19 — a five per cent increase from the previous year.
- One in three people in Ontario over the age of 15 experience mental health or addictions challenges in their lifetime.
- The 2018 Budget includes proposed investments of $575 million per year by 2020-21 to expand OHIP+ to seniors by eliminating the annual deductible and co-payment under the Ontario Drug Benefit program; an additional $822 million in 2018-19 for hospital operating funding; support for the redevelopment of the Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) and the Ottawa Civic Hospital; and an additional $650 million over the next three years to improve home and community care services.
“Our government’s historic investment in mental health and addictions takes a comprehensive approach, ensuring people in Ontario are supported across their lifespan, no matter what their needs may be. This investment and clear strategy demonstrates our government’s commitment to the mental wellness of people in Ontario, recognizing that physical and mental wellness must go hand-in-hand for people to live their best lives.”
“As a Member of the Select Committee on Mental Health and Addictions, I am pleased that the new funding will allow for the implementation of all of the recommendations. This is a new day for mental health treatment in Peterborough Riding.”
“Ensuring that people are supported to achieve an optional level of mental health wellness is one of the top priorities for the Central East LHIN. The ongoing support from the Ministry being announced today will ensure that our local health service providers and their partners are able to continue to serve some of our most vulnerable residents in the Central East LHINs Peterborough City and County sub-region and across our LHIN.”